MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Before the first coach hollered at a player during preseason practice, we pitched some over/unders for West Virginia’s football season. At the midpoint of the regular season, let’s check back on where those stand:

5.5 wins: The shellacking at Maryland made a bowl trip look dubious, before the upset of Oklahoma State restored WVU’s hopes. Assuming the Mountaineers defeat Iowa State and Kansas, they can reach the six-win plateau by getting one more against the not-so-daunting gauntlet of Texas Tech, Texas, TCU or Kansas State. I like those odds. (Midseason guess: OVER)

Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Charles Sims has 19 catches through six games, tying him for the WVU team lead.

207 yards for Andrew Buie against Texas: The junior running back withdrew from school the week before the season opener, though coach Dana Holgorsen called it a redshirt situation and expected Buie to return for spring semester. (Midseason guess: UNDER)

78 catches for WVU’s leading receiver: Not even close. Daikiel Shorts and Charles Sims share the team lead with a mere 19 catches. (Midseason guess: UNDER)

2.5 catches for Cody Clay: With six catches for 47 yards, Clay has emerged as a reliable target in the short-yardage passing game. (Midseason result: OVER)

2.5 ejections for targeting: If you bet on reserve offensive lineman Adam Pankey in the office targeting pool, that’s some wicked foresight. So far, he’s the only Mountaineer to be banished under the zero-tolerance player-safety guidelines, though defensive backs Darwin Cook and Travis Bell saw disqualifications reversed by replay. (Weren’t we all anticipating this to be Karl Joseph’s kryptonite?) Something tells me after the way Baylor carved up WVU, the defense will play with a nastier disposition that could lead to more DQs. (Midseason guess: OVER)

3,500 passing yards by WVU’s starting quarterback: Wait, does WVU have a starting quarterback? (Midseason guess: UNDER)

30.3 points allowed per game: After the 73-point barrage suffered at Baylor, WVU slipped to ninth in the Big 12 in scoring defense at 28.5 ppg. As ineffective as this unit looked in Waco, it’s still 10 points ahead of 2012′s pace. Not exactly a chest-thumping metric of progress, but progress nonethless. (Midseason guess: UNDER)

8th in Big 12 net punting: Currently No. 2 in the league at 42.1 yards net, this category looks like a slam dunk, with Nick O’Toole consistently launching moonshots and coverage guys tackling well. Good thing, because WVU’s 6.3 punts per game are third-most in the Big 12, ahead of only Kansas and Iowa State. (Midseason guess: UNDER)

3.5 cornerbacks to start a game: Icky Banks and Bell have avoided injury and breakdowns. They’re not shutdown corners by any stretch, but they have brought some stability to spots that were dysfunctional in 2012. (Midseason guess: UNDER)

2 recruits who fail to qualify: In what was celebrated as a rare success, all of West Virginia’s signees qualified. However, junior college defensive end d’Vante Henry never suited up and was dismissed in early September after being charged with sexual assault. (Midseason result: UNDER)

35 fourth-down gambles by Holgorsen: With only nine fourth-down attempts, Holgorsen is well shy of last year’s pace. He hasn’t lost his nerve so much as WVU’s offense hasn’t crossed midfield as frequently. (Midseason guess: UNDER)

.5 appearances by WVU’s all-gold uniforms: According to one teammate, 335-pound Quinton Spain dressed in head-to-toe canary “looked like Big Bird.” But that was the same day WVU knocked off Oklahoma State, so there’s no need to play Oscar the Grouch about West Virginia’s worst uni combo. (Midseason result: OVER)

Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Will Clarke and the West Virginia defense have made distinct strides despite allowing 73 points at Baylor.
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Comments

  • Protechcpa

    I was thinking the other day about what this team lacks and I recalled sitting in the stands in 1988, watching WVU finish off a perfect season against Syracuse. For me the highlight of that game was the interception run back for a touchdown by home town player Willie Edwards. He went out there and made a play, tipping the ball to himself in stride and going nearly 50 yards to make the score 21-3 in the third quarter. That was the moment I just knew we were going to prevail. We are just not doing enough of that and have not for a while. Something that comes from within and most definitely missing. Hope we get it back soon.

    • Mister Man

      We've had a few since then. OK State is one. I hope we have more.

  • tw eagle

    and who among the WVU faithful would have guessed the D to be the springboard for a
    winning season . . .coach Holgerson WORE
    a WVU blue polo to the presser last Tuesday. . .

    Baylor, away from home , couldn't "brew" the same elixir it used on WVU . . .now under the eye of the country , I doubt Baylor will come up with another performance like the "perfect"
    one they foisted on WVU. . .

    will coach Holgerson give a run/pass QB with
    a Pat White run first outlook an even chance
    to operate his "air raid " ?

    will the young man from Baltimore keep his
    verbal commitment to WVU ?

    and I like the new unis , especially the combo
    worn against Okie St . . .

    Let's Gooo Mountaineeerrrsss ! ! !

  • Dougie

    Our uniforms are very cool. We have a great AD, and good coaches. Fans are best in the country. Don't let the MU fans on here put negative thoughts in your heads... Go EERs!

    • Mister Man

      Go check the Marshall boards. Even the crickets have left. I feel sorry for Dave Wilson. Good job, Allan.

    • William

      @Dougee - You are NOT a true Mountaineer fan! No true fan would ever call the team 'EERs! They are Mountaineers. That name might be good for someone like SPOCK on Star Trek. The uniforms are TERRIBLE & UGLY> It would be a great uniform for SPOCK to wear, NOW THAT WOULD BE A GREAT LOOK. Can you picture that? Did you make up that name, or did you just copy that from someone that is not a TRUE MOUNTAINEER?

  • WVU FAN

    The uniforms are great, the play on the field is the worst; Mentally we were not ready to play this season.

    Our new QB's with our new RB's(new coaches as well) & WR's (new coaches) with our new "O'Line Coach... No body knows anyone in the locker room... Junior College kids coming in and being leaders... We should be a lot better after a week off... Everyone needs to pull together (fans & staff)

    after this season we should look in getting a QB coach again, sorry Shannon you need some help, maybe Oliver Luck can come in and work with you guys. (maybe Andrew Luck could come in and work out with our QB's this spring )

  • Maxxajay

    WVU roster according to ESPN.........1----24 freshman.............2-----19 sophomores........3-----20 juniors and 12 are JC ...4----9 seniors.... It will take about two years people like I said in the previous post we will get there it'll happen.....not much upperclassman leadership... It is great to be a Mountaineer win or loose...

    • Grant

      Quit confusing people with facts. It will only confuse them.

    • Rick S.

      If the numbers you gave are really what is posted by ESPN, then you have proven beyond a doubt never to trust ESPN because those numbers are not even remotely close to the roster numbers on the WVU web site.

      • Maxxajay

        Those were ESPN numbers I noticed no one else put any numbers up... I have also noticed a lot of people never put a post on here from the article that Allan has written, unless they can criticize or disapprove of someone else's post...

        • Rick S.

          Just to be clear, I am not criticizing your post in any way. I give you credit for doing research. I was being critical of ESPN and pointing out that ESPN is not reliable.

  • Maxxajay

    One day last week after WVU played Baylor, and people were talking about reloading so I went and looked at the Baylor roster posted by ESPN.... I found the roster would be very interesting Here is what I found on there.... # 1---21 freshman....# 2 ---20 redshirt freshman....# 3 ---24 sophomores...# 4---12 Juniors...#5---23 seniors.... That 23 seniors shows why Baylor is very good this year they got senior leadership... With a roster like that they will just reload for the next few years... And as it looks like now WVU will be like that with in the next two years just reload,, notice the redshirt freshman 20 redshirt freshman this year....Awesome .. Oliver luck is a smart man he knows what it takes in the future...It will happen ....

  • MountainMover

    Very concerned about this program. Baylor literally shredded us and Kansas State played them pretty tough. Iowa State almost won at Texas Tech. Two years ago WVU was ahead of all of these programs and they've all zoomed past us. I like Holgorsen but I don't understand why this offensive line is so poor, it's the nucleus of any football team. We should have better players than this up front. Given our success over the last decade I'd like to know why top offensive line recruits have chosen other schools over WVU, especially when we've been so successful offensively which would highlight good play up front. There's just something wrong with this picture.

  • JaneM

    @ Allan.... Good article Enjoyed very much...

  • Allan

    I just like to thank the Four Whoresmen for their input, they have a 50/50 chance of being right....only time will tell. If we look back on Don Nehlen's coaching career, he only won 4 out of 13 bowl games, had a few losing seasons and a few just slightly over .500pct to go along with some really good years. I'm not sure if the Four Whoresmen were around then and what they said about Coach Nehlen, but I like coach Holgorsen and I think he will get it going once he has the players in place...I'm willing to show some patience.

  • Mountaineer fanatic

    Looking forward to beating TT this coming Saturday. Don't care what the coach wears. Just want to win.
    LETS GOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS

  • Maxxajay

    Allan ... Sure do and always liked information and good statistics were good job..

  • Chris

    Were lucky to be 3-3 not very good to say the least but everyone knew WVU wouldn't be any good hopefully they will pull it together the second half of the season i love the uniforms don't know why everybody is down on them.

    • Big Larry

      The new WVU uniforms are without question the very worst looking uniforms in the history of College Football. They look like a throw back to another era but only worse! The uniforms match their play on the field.

      Bring back the original Blue & Gold uniforms and the metallic blue helmets.

      What were they thinking?

      • WVAtty

        Bet you look great in your bugle boy jeans and members only jacket.

        Embrace the change.

        • Allan Taylor

          @WVAtty: You just recreated my high school yearbook photo in 13 words. Spot-on.

  • JaneM

    Allan ....good report lots of information...... I noticed you never made a comment on the road uniform colors with the blue helmet white jersey white pants trimed in blue I thought thay was nice... The coach wearing dark blue on the Dana Holgersen show Saturday morning looked nice he was wearing at the press conference blue last Tuesday looked nice. I don't know what the problem is some of these jjjjjjj , well whatever they are called on here they keep changing their names all the time ... Anyway I did not see any predictions on the win loss, but for what it's worth I pick them to win the next six games..... Got to get out of here he you fellows later in the week.....

  • Big Larry

    Allan,

    Thank you for the information...Very Good!

    However I would have added:

    Chances of Dana Holgorsen wearing the WVU school colors (Blue & Gold) before the end of season....

    That would definitely be UNDER...

    • Grant

      The man could wear a pink dress for all I care as long as they WIN.

      • Bobby M

        HELLO what??!? Maybe some are into different THINGS but allow me TO suggest proper Bible readings Friend!!!!

    • Uncle Unctuous

      Art Briles was spotted wearing black on the Baylor sidelines in Waco on Saturday. I'll bet Bears fans just hate that.

      OK, no I don't. I think they are generally intelligent and don't care about a coach's fashion choices.

      Also, DH has already been seen wearing the school colors, so wrong again.

  • wvajoker

    I am disappointed. The Four Jackasses (Horsemen??) have not already been on here braying their drivel,

    • Big Larry

      I think that the wvajoker has bigger mouth and is a bigger jackass than the "Four Horseman" all put together...

      What a joke he is...

    • Bobby M

      Its a depressing SEASON Friend! I'm STILL trying to work my WAY out! Maybe OTHERS are too!